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Grace on Display

Daily Reading: 2 Kings 21


 For he rebuilt the high places that Hezekiah his father had destroyed, and he erected altars for Baal and made an Asherah, as Ahab king of Israel had done, and worshiped all the host of heaven and served them.  (2 Kings 21.3)


Devotional Thought: In 2 Kings 21, a flower of hope has begun to bud.  Though God's people had been sheep easily led astray by wicked kings, Hezekiah led them back to God.  Obeying the Lord, he had torn down the high places built to worship other gods and had demonstrated what faith in the Lord looks like even in the face of great danger.  We go into chapter 21 hopeful that Hezekiah’s heir will follow the same pattern of faith.


With Manasseh, however, that hope is quickly extinguished.  He not only encouraged God’s people in their idolatrous inclinations, he actually rebuilt what his father had torn down – the high places for pagan worship.  Worse, the people of Judah went along with it.  Manasseh was not the only guilty party – he was responsible for leading the people astray, but they knew the Law and commandments and decided to follow their wayward king instead of the Lord.


It should give us pause when we consider how our actions and faith affect those around us.  Do our actions, attitudes, and words glorify the Father or do they place stumbling blocks in the paths of others?  It is usually much easier to “fake” a righteous faith around casual friends and acquaintances than it is around family members who know us best.  My kids (and my husband, no doubt) can tell you exactly which fruits of the Spirit I need to keep praying over!  We model these unrighteous actions and attitudes to them, whether or not we intend to.  How we live out our faith matters.  None of us can be a perfect light to those around us, but when we fail, let us acknowledge our sin and use the opportunity to showcase God’s grace. 




Prayer: Lord, so many times I fail to be the light I am called to be, to bring glory and honor to Your name.  Through Your Spirit, enable me to live in a way that does not cause others to stumble, but rather live in a way that draws them to You.


Psalm of the Day: 18.35-45

35 You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand supported me, and your gentleness made me great.

36 You gave a wide place for my steps under me, and my feet did not slip.

37 I pursued my enemies and overtook them, and did not turn back till they were consumed.

38 I thrust them through, so that they were not able to rise; they fell under my feet.

39 For you equipped me with strength for the battle; you made those who rise against me sink under me.

40 You made my enemies turn their backs to me, and those who hated me I destroyed.

41 They cried for help, but there was none to save; they cried to the LORD, but he did not answer them.

42 I beat them fine as dust before the wind; I cast them out like the mire of the streets.

43 You delivered me from strife with the people; you made me the head of the nations; people whom I had not known served me.

44 As soon as they heard of me they obeyed me; foreigners came cringing to me.

45 Foreigners lost heart and came trembling out of their fortresses.

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